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Felis catus

Felis catus-By Sönke Bonde

Felis catus, or the domestic cat, has been featured in myth and legend in cultures around the world. In ancient Egypt, cats were revered and worshipped as sacred animals, and killing a cat was considered a capital offense. The goddess Bastet was depicted as a woman with the head of a cat and was associated with fertility, motherhood, and protection.

In Japanese folklore, the Maneki-Neko or “beckoning cat” is a popular talisman believed to bring good luck and prosperity. In Norse mythology, the goddess Freyja was said to have driven a chariot pulled by cats. In Celtic mythology, the cat was associated with magic and witchcraft.

The domestic cat is known by many names in different languages. In Spanish, it is called “gato”; in French, “chat”; in German, “Katze”; in Italian, “gatto”; in Russian, “koshka”; and in Chinese, “mao.”

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